The Atrium in Makati, BlackBerry, and other past things

Inside an old building in Makati City is a BlackBerry service center: a dose of overthinking revealed its subtle irony to me.

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The space inside The Atrium in Makati City, its own atrium, is cavernous.
The Atrium in Makati City.

The Atrium in Makati City is a quaint, dry and dusty building. It sits on Makati Avenue, across from the Ayala Triangle, and right beside the tall, solid glass wall of the Zuellig Building. Although both are unmistakably commercial edifices, being located centrally in one of Manila’s business districts, there is a striking contrast between the two structures’ appearances. One speaks of modernity, and admirable is the manner by which it blends with the sky. Viewed from a distance, on overcast days with a uniform gray sky, the Zuellig nearly disappears behind the reflection on its mirror-like exterior, and if one had poor vision she might not see it at all while gazing at Makati’s skyline. The other building, meanwhile, is from an older era. The Atrium is more at home with the utilitarian offices like those which house SGV & Co. and National Life Insurance on Ayala Avenue; its architecture belongs to that style which still dominates Legazpi Village and the many roads that feed into Ayala and Buendia. But not on Makati Avenue itself—here the ultra-modern reigns over all. Here, steel and glass captures all attention, turns all heads, and leaves nothing for the quaint, the dry and the dusty.

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Santo Domingo Church

On a dim, rainy Friday morning recently, I took a Quiapo-bound jeep near my home in Quezon City, handed over the 10-peso fare and tersely announced my destination to the driver: “Santo Domingo.”

View of the Santo Domingo Church from the convent courtyard, with stained glass windows visible
Santo Domingo Church, viewed from the convent courtyard

I cannot remember the first time I set foot in that magnificent church, but I am quite certain I have always been in awe of its architecture. Outside, the church greets its faithful with the imposing belfry of classical proportions at the eastern corner. Its facade observes a conservation of detail, concentrated in a sculpted band depicting the La Naval above the main doors.

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